Tuesday, January 17, 2012

APS Community Advocacy Group

APS Supt Winston Brooks has twice touted an "APS Community Advocacy Group" in the Journal; once last month, link, and again this month, link. A search of APS' award winning website and Google, yielded no information linking to the group nor any evidence that it actually exists.

Since posting, a reader has supplied a link to Partners in Education & Advocates for Public Schools; PEAPS.

The leadership of the APS spends around a million dollars a year to improve their public perception.

There are two ways to improve public perception;

  1. do a better job, or
  2. make the public think you're doing a better job.
APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta and the million dollar a year "communications" effort have a job to do, and that job is not communication.

Their job is to improve public perception.

Without which, they might all loose their jobs.

There is only one group I am aware of trying to improve APS' public perception legitimately; by open and honest public discussion of the obstacles to our children's education; the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication.

Whose petition languishes still, in the denial of due process by the leadership of the APS (ok, only the corrupt and complacent ones).

Due process is being denied by two classes of APS leaders;
  1. those whose personal corruption compels them to fight against transparent accountability to the people, and
  2. those with guilty knowledge of that corruption.
The denial of due process for a legitimate petition violates,
if not the letter, then the spirit of the First Amendment to the
Constitution, and the protection it provides for the human right to petition one's government for redress of grievances.

The First Amendment reads in significant part;
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the ... right of
the people ... to petition the Government for a redress
of grievances.
If the amendment doesn't compel government to consider petitions, what is the point in protecting the right to deliver them?

These people, and I do mean these people, represent a "model" of public education administration;
strictly oligarchical with at will standards and accountability.

While it is the most widely agreed upon model among the oligarchs, it isn't necessarily the best.

The fact that it hasn't worked in more than a hundred years of "trying", is not unimportant.

It will never work, because it is fundamentally flawed.

The model these people prefer for the actual educating of students, is commonly called "cemetery seating". Students find themselves arranged like grave markers in five rows of six.

They're expected to join a thought choir that will think in unison for next twelve years. At every minute of every day, they will be expected to be in the same book, and on the same page, preparing for the same test.

This despite that these groups of young human beings, kittens if you will, have nothing in common but the year of their birth.

If you really looked at a graduating class of third graders, you would find that some are "third grade readers", some fourth, some fifth, maybe one or two, twelfth grade readers.

You would find a fair number reading below grade level.

If you looked at their record, you would find some of them are fourth grade mathematicians; and fifth. And some of them, in addition to being second grade readers, are first graders in something else.

Yet all are expected to proceed together in exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed, for twelve years. Even if this could be accomplished, why would you want to?

Why would you want to, except to enable a oligarchical model whose existence depends upon centralized power and decision making?

The fundamental goal of education is to create independent lifelong learners who have no real need for schools. Because they learned how to learn independently, all they need is a reference library; the nearly unlimited digital data base.

The common refrain is;
students need to learn to read by third grade because
after third grade third grade they need to read to learn.
It's clever, it has a nice rhyme and meter, but that doesn't make it true.

The fact that non-readers can learn to read, is proof that
non-readers can learn without being able to read.

A third grade who cannot read at a third grade level, might have an interest in higher level math, or science or any one of an unlimited number of other worthy interests. That student can watch a video or listen to an audio file how ever many times they need, at what ever complexity they can grasp, in whatever language they need, in whatever font they prefer, or even read to them, in any language they want, by an electronic device.

For what we spend on textbooks, we could give every student electronic access to whatever database we choose. We could teach them to be critical and independent lifelong learners.

It is only because we insist that they
read their way out of the their ignorance,
that they are doomed to continuing ignorance.

photos Mark Bralley


Anonymous said...

Yes, the group does exist! It's called PEAPS, and you can find them on https://sites.google.com/site/peapsforeducation/home. They are hard at work preparing for the current legislative session, and have a press conference scheduled for this Sunday, January 22nd, at 1pm at Dolores Gonzales Elementary school. Come by, check them out, ask questions.

ched macquigg said...

Thank you for the link.